Category: Capitol Ideas

Longest session is reaching conclusion

The legislative session finally appears to be ending. Legislators will be happy to return to normal life and jobs as wheat harvest is beginning in the southern parts of the state and my farm friends are anxious to get to it. Last weekend House members were off on Sunday but the Senate worked Sunday afternoon. The Senate passed a tax […]

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Legislative gridlock prolonging session

The legislative session continues. We are approaching a record-long session with no apparent solution in sight. The longest session on record was in 2002 with 107 days. That session also was about raising taxes as the economy had softened significantly because of the terrorist attacks in September 2001. This time, the cause is much different. The Legislature truly is in […]

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Acceptable tax plan challenging to find

The Legislature is back at work after the Memorial Day weekend. Even though it was a wet weekend, Memorial Day is a special day of remembrance. The Legislature is making some progress at this point. The budget details are being refined but tax proposals are slow in coming. As the session gets late, especially as we approach the first of […]

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Session extension far from solutions

The 2015 legislative session grinds on without resolution. At this point, we are beyond the normal 90 days scheduled for session. I am aware that some high-level strategy meetings are going on, but little of that information is shared with legislative members. A tax proposal to increase sales taxes by 0.7 percent was voted on in the House and failed […]

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Budget plan moving slowly forward?

Things are finally starting to move on the budget and tax plans. Although the budget is primarily in a holding pattern, talks about taxes are front and center as the budget shortfall issues are addressed. The Appropriations committees met early in the week, mainly to review what is on the table and to get an update on the current budget […]

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Budget solution still an elusive target

For most of the week, the Legislature was still idling as we waited for the Budget and Tax committees to finally engage the gears and start moving things along. Late in the week, the Tax committee began hearings on a variety of bills to explore different tax options to close the budget/revenue gap. This part of the legislative session typically […]

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Without tax increase more cuts inevitable

Legislators are back in Topeka to begin the wrap-up session for 2015. Wednesday afternoon, the House will reconvene to finish up the big issues, meaning the budget and proposed tax changes. A lot has happened during the nearly month-long break. First and foremost is the consensus revenue estimators met and released their estimates for the remaining months of 2015, and […]

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Legislators have lots of issues to address

This is scheduled to be the last week of the regular legislative session for 2015. Often it seems as though time goes slowly, but suddenly the end of the session is here. Budget and tax issues are still not completely settled, so work continues on those issues when we return. Normally only the Appropriations and Tax committees meet during this […]

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Committees still processing new bills

This is the last week that non-exempt committees can meet, so the session has begun to wind down. A number of will be bills passed out of committees yet, so the list will grow. Currently, more than 40 bills await full House action. Several bills that have been high profile are not on the list, but that does not mean […]

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Block-grant bill has both good and bad

As I look at the legislative calendar, this is already week nine for the session. Obviously, things are moving along as the days are getting longer and spring is in the air. Our calendar says it is only two weeks until the scheduled end of regular session, known as first adjournment. The budget is coming along and, if everything goes […]

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